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team-building-vs-team-bonding-768d0c56 Team Building Versus Team Bonding

Team Building Versus Team Bonding

16 October 2021

Over the past several years, the phrase “team building” has become somewhat of an office buzzword. Entrepreneurs, CEOs and business owners everywhere are clamoring to schedule events and afternoons that encourage togetherness, collaboration and cohesion among employees. What these go-getters don’t realize is that they’re often confusing team building for team bonding, and that the two concepts are actually very different.

Team Building Versus Team Bonding: Why Knowing the Difference Makes a Difference

Knowing the difference between team building and bonding makes all the difference, and can keep you from wasting precious hours on the wrong effort. So what is the difference between team building and team bonding, and what does that mean for next week’s happy hour?

Are You Building or Bonding?

The first thing you’ve got to realize is that team building and bonding are two very different things. While these two separate ideas do compliment one another (and absolutely work best together), they each serve two very specific purposes. 

Team building is centered around strengthening the skills that employees and executives need to build and maintain a strong team and achieve company goals. During team bonding programs and exercises, people work on skills like problem solving and communication. Those skills are easily translated into the workplace and encourage a strong and cohesive company culture. Both in-person and virtual team building programs help your team learn how to work together as a seamless unit and refine skills that will improve their productivity, enthusiasm and dedication to company endeavors. 

On the other hand, team bonding focuses on the relationships between employees, rather than the function between them. Team bonding activities encourage and nurture genuine personal bonds, with no strings attached. The overall goal of team bonding is to get employees to drop their workplace personas and form real connections with one another. 

When company employees feel a sense of camaraderie, they’re more likely to work well together and care about the performance and success of their peers. In turn, essential skills like communication and problem solving become easier. 

Even though the expectations for team building and team bonding are different, the overarching intention is to create a more cohesive, efficient company culture. Team building and bonding work symbiotically to yield undeniable results, if you do it right. 

team bonding vs team building

Does My Team Need Both?

If you’re thinking about charging ahead with team building, and leaving team bonding for later, you may want to reconsider. In order to create a culture of dedicated cohesion in your workplace, you’re going to need both. 

Think of team building and bonding as the “bricks” and “mortar” that hold your business together, respectively. Team building provides employees with solid fundamentals, strategies and skills that make your business tick. Each element (like communication and problem solving) is critical to the core structure of your company, as is each team member. But without something to hold them together, the bricks can slip, shift or crumble.

This is where team bonding comes in to pull it all together. Genuine relationships between employees motivate them to work as a cohesive unit toward a common goal. When teams feel a sense of togetherness, the success of one individual becomes the success of the team. Skills like communication and teamwork are more easily implemented, and a sense of camaraderie makes each task a shared duty. 

Even though team building gives you the bulk of team-enhancing content, those skills are useless if employees aren’t driven to put them to work. Sure, you can build a wall with nothing but bricks, but don’t expect it to hold for long. 

On Purpose Adventures makes it easy to weave team bonding activities into your Charleston team building programs, so you can get the best of both worlds. Whether you’re looking for in-person Charleston team building in or virtual team building for your remote workforce, we’ve got you covered.

 charleston team building 01

What Can We Expect From Team Building or Bonding With OPA?

On Purpose Adventures has team building figured out. We know your team is busy, and you can’t exactly put your quarterly goals on hold to embark on team bonding adventures. That’s why we provide team building with a purpose, so you can feel confident that a single second won’t go to waste. 

Fortunately, you don’t need to block off an eternity of free time to give your team the tools and experiences they need to thrive. In most cases, team building programs are highly efficient when they’re implemented about once each quarter for each of your departments. All of our team building programs include elements of team bonding as well, so you can have your cake and eat it, too.

Charleston team building programs with OPA are intricate and thoughtful, and leave team members with new skills and strategies they can sharpen and shape over the following months. Both in-person and virtual team building programs can be customized to fit your company perfectly. Some team building programs we offer include elements like Cohesion Culture, Holy City Scavenger Hunt, and Codebreakers.

Team bonding can be implemented much more frequently, ideally once a month. Because team bonding activities rarely require debriefing or focused skills, they’re more about letting loose and having fun. If you drop the facade, and simply encourage employees to enjoy themselves, you’ll get less resistance (or eye-rolling) when you suggest team bonding activities. OPA’s kayaking and archery activities are local favorites, while our Icebreakers experience can have team members engaging and high-fiving virtually from anywhere.

No matter where your team hails from, OPA has your team building and team bonding needs covered. Our in-person Charleston team building activities are both constructive and captivating, and showcase the best of what the Lowcountry has to offer. If you’re hustling from afar, OPA provides top-level virtual team building and hybrid experiences that can round up your remote crew and deliver results. 

Build a Better Team With On Purpose Adventures

When you’re ready to take your team to the next level, OPA is here to show you how. Let us break down the basics of team building and team bonding, so you can focus on creating a cohesive company culture that blows the competition out of the water. 

You can book your Charleston team building experience now. Or we can travel to you. We are completely mobile. OPA is ready to lead you through a thrilling in-person adventure, or provide virtual team building and bonding that lets you play the way you work. Don’t lose your top talent to another less-than-happy hour. It’s time to focus on team building with a purpose, on purpose. 

Team Building Programs

These offerings are more on the building spectrum.

The 4 C’s of Building a Strong C-Suite

The CORE of Building a Strong Team

Cohesion Culture™ CORE

Cohesion Culture™ CAMP

Cohesion Culture™ COURSE

Kayak Team Building

Team Bonding Activities

These activities are more on the bonding side of things.

Scavenger Hunt - Holy City Wanderer

Combat Archery


Online Ice Breakers

Operation Escape

Battle Bingo

Kayak/Paddleboard Tours/Rentals